Dr Olasunkanmi Habeeb Okunola is a disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation expert by training with over 10 years of research, policy development and teaching experience in sub-Saharan Africa and European countries. He is currently an Alexandra Von Humboldt Research Scholar at the United Nations University. He holds a PhD in urban and regional planning from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. Olasunkanmi is a researcher and programme management expert on climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, community-based natural resource management, and coastal and marine resource management. He explores adaptation in the context of resilience planning to interrogate both conventional and alternative approaches to adaptation, disaster risk reduction and sustainability. He has conducted community-based qualitative and quantitative research in cities of the global south and north on disaster risk governance and climate change adaptation.
The research projects include: Integrated Disaster Governance, Community Resilience to Climate Change Extreme Events, Cascading and Systemic Risks from Climate Extreme Events, Social Cohesion and Inclusive Education in Informal Settlements. His doctoral research built on the Asset Accumulation Framework, which represents an innovative approach to understanding the complexities of development within the context of climate change adaptation in cities of the global south. He expanded this analytical model by developing the Participatory Climate Change Asset Adaptation Appraisal, which is a framework comprising four stages in the analysis of the social, economic and environmental implications of climate change on society. He has worked on projects as project manager, team lead, component lead, and chief reporting officer supported by the World Bank, Ford Foundation, International Development Research Centre and Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD).
He has won various prestigious scholarships such as DAAD and Alexandra Von Humboldt Fellowships. Olasunkanmi has authored/co-authored scientific papers in journals like Urban Climate, Environmental Pollution, etc, while also initiating collaborations with experts from different countries like England, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, and India on projects relating to disaster risk reduction and climate resilience. His opinion pieces and commentaries have featured on major local and international platforms including London School of Economics, The Brookings Institution and The Conversation. He frequently features as a public affairs analyst on national and international media including Radio France Internationale, BBC and Newzroom Afrika.